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When to run after calf strain
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JaRok2300




Joined: 01 May 2014
Posts: 271
Location: Worcester, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:29 am    Post subject: When to run after calf strain Reply with quote

Background - strained calf on Christmas Day and been seeing physio weekly since then. Didn't seem to bad a strain and been doing all of the stretches, calf raises etc.
Saw physio yesterday and he got me on the treadmill, only 5mins but various speeds and inclines and declared that my gait was Ok and I could start running again. I asked if I should do a walk/run split but he said it was fine to go straight into running continuously (I thought that was a bit odd and in hindsight should have erred on the side of caution)
So I tried a 20min run last night and got to 17mins ok when my calf suddenly tightened up. I tried stretching it but couldn't run on it so walked home. It doesn't feel too bad this morning so hopefully no further damage.

My question is when do you know it's safe to start running again? Not a timescale, as I know every injury is different but are there any exercises or tests to check if the calf is strong enough. X number of one leg calf raises, hopping etc.

Any advice appreciated thanks.
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Jorgan




Joined: 12 Nov 2007
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Location: alles was ich bin, alles was ich war

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would normally leave it for a week after to feel the last twinges or tenderness. When you start back running, only do it on soft surfaces like grass or a treadmill. Try shorter distances i.e, run for 5-10 min at first. Over the years, I've always found running after a swim or bike ride was much better as my calf was properly warmed-up and stretched-out before I ran.
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

warm up as per J above

Run for one minute, walk home...

If all ok, next day run for two etc...

Even with a couple of rest days per week you will be running 20 mins inside a month (with 1.5 hours of running by week 4) having reduced the risk, re-engaged the running muscles and progressed your fitness.

Add in appropriate drills for form and strength and you will on your way.

What is an ok gait, by the way?
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Roscoemck




Joined: 10 Aug 2016
Posts: 348
Location: Glasgow

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's taken me 3 months to build back up since straining my calf in October.

Started very slow with run/walks after 1st month, back to running 4 times a week, maximum distance 10k so far, looking to build up to half marathon.

I am now fanatical about warming up properly (thanks EJC) and stretch and use a foam roller every day.
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JaRok2300




Joined: 01 May 2014
Posts: 271
Location: Worcester, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is an ok gait, by the way?[/quote]

I know that's a trap!

I think it just means he didn't see anything untoward that would contribute to the calf issue.

I was told many years ago that I over-pronated and had some orthotics made. When they wore out I didn't replace them but have always worn stability shoes since. Interestingly though, my shoes tend to wear more on the outside these days which doesn't seem to fit with over-pronation.

Ps. I just typed over-pornation which is something completely different with quite different symptoms........err I imagine!
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doug




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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be very careful stretching a calf strain - over stretch it and you can cause more strain (I've been there)

Personally I wouldn't stretch it all until healed, focus instead on strengthening and balance (get a wobble board). Once you are able to run 20mins pain free then think about stretching.
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
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Location: Farthingstone

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JaRok2300 wrote:
What is an ok gait, by the way?


I know that's a trap!

I think it just means he didn't see anything untoward that would contribute to the calf issue.

I was told many years ago that I over-pronated and had some orthotics made. When they wore out I didn't replace them but have always worn stability shoes since. Interestingly though, my shoes tend to wear more on the outside these days which doesn't seem to fit with over-pronation.

Ps. I just typed over-pornation which is something completely different with quite different symptoms........err I imagine![/quote]

not sure i've seen many runners whose gait didn't contribute to calf strains!

why wouldn't your shoes wear on the outside?
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jibberjim




Joined: 15 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

explorerJC wrote:
not sure i've seen many runners whose gait didn't contribute to calf strains!


Oscar Pistorius
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jibberjim wrote:
explorerJC wrote:
not sure i've seen many runners whose gait didn't contribute to calf strains!


Oscar Pistorius


didn't he wear his out???
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JaRok2300




Joined: 01 May 2014
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Location: Worcester, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

why wouldn't your shoes wear on the outside?[/quote]

If you over-pronate, wouldn't your shoes wear more on the inside edge as you roll too much onto that side. I had shoes in the past where the inside edge looked like it had collapsed after a time but the outside edge had little wear, that doesn't happen anymore.
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jibberjim




Joined: 15 Aug 2008
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Location: Kingston

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

explorerJC wrote:
jibberjim wrote:
explorerJC wrote:
not sure i've seen many runners whose gait didn't contribute to calf strains!


Oscar Pistorius


didn't he wear his out???


Not sure he's allowed out much at all, possibly a bit weaponlike for the cell too.
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JaRok2300 wrote:
why wouldn't your shoes wear on the outside?


If you over-pronate, wouldn't your shoes wear more on the inside edge as you roll too much onto that side. I had shoes in the past where the inside edge looked like it had collapsed after a time but the outside edge had little wear, that doesn't happen anymore.[/quote]

i have no idea what the shoes are meant to be doing for you, but if you land in a supinated (inverted) position and the shoe restricts pronation, then you are going to toe off in a supinated position.

i thought your gait was 'ok'?
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JaRok2300




Joined: 01 May 2014
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Location: Worcester, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's my point. I was told I over-pronated many years ago at which time I used to wear out shoes on the inside but I don't anymore.

My shoes wear fairly evenly now, maybe slightly more on the outside edge, which I mentioned in passing to support the fact that I don't think I over-pronate anymore.

The physio told me there was nothing in my gait that he felt needed correcting with regard to the calf injury or potential recurrence. Whether he was right or wrong I have no idea but that's my interpretation of OK.

The calf is still a little sore today but not as bad as when I originally strained it so I'm hoping I haven't done any further damage and after a few days rest I'll try a more gradual approach as suggested. I'm doing turbo sessions most days at the moment so adding a very short run after should work well.
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JaRok2300 wrote:
That's my point. I was told I over-pronated many years ago at which time I used to wear out shoes on the inside but I don't anymore.

My shoes wear fairly evenly now, maybe slightly more on the outside edge, which I mentioned in passing to support the fact that I don't think I over-pronate anymore.

The physio told me there was nothing in my gait that he felt needed correcting with regard to the calf injury or potential recurrence. Whether he was right or wrong I have no idea but that's my interpretation of OK.

The calf is still a little sore today but not as bad as when I originally strained it so I'm hoping I haven't done any further damage and after a few days rest I'll try a more gradual approach as suggested. I'm doing turbo sessions most days at the moment so adding a very short run after should work well.


Shoe wear is only really useful as a guide if you use your shoes for running only.

Even wear on shoes is different to wear on the lateral edge which was your original point I thought.

I would certainly wait until the calf is no longer sore before running again...
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JaRok2300




Joined: 01 May 2014
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Location: Worcester, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks JC, I only use my trainers for running, at least until they are retired to garden use.

Assuming any soreness has gone by the weekend I'm going to try a combination of your and Jorgan's advice by adding a minute of running to my turbo session and take it from there.

The thought of getting geared up for a 1 minute run seems a bit odd so tacking it onto a turbo makes sense on lost of levels.

I'm back at the physio in 2 weeks so in theory should be up to over 10mins by then, all being well.
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